Skip to main content

This job has expired

Postdoc in Cell Biology – Zerial Group

Human Technopole
Milan (IT)
depending on candidate seniority
Closing date
13 Jul 2024

View more

Life Science
Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term

Job Details


Human Technopole (HT) is an interdisciplinary research institute in Milan (Italy) created and supported by the Italian government to develop innovative strategies to promote human health. HT adopts a multidisciplinary and integrated approach combining genomics, computational and structural biology, neuroscience, and data and decision sciences.
The Human Technopole Foundation is looking for one highly motivated postdoc with a solid background in cell and developmental biology to work in the group of Prof. Marino Zerial.


The Zerial Group works on endocytosis - from its molecular mechanisms to implications in cell and tissue organisation. Its interests range from the assembly and functional characterisation of the endosomal fusion machinery to establishing hepatocyte cell polarity and liver tissue structure and function. The Group uses a unique interdisciplinary approach combining biochemical and biophysical methods with advanced light microscopy, cell biology and computer-aided three-dimensional tissue reconstruction to investigate the organisation and function of the mouse and human liver tissue.

The Zerial Group has chosen the liver tissue because it poses several interesting problems, such as the complex apico-basal polarity of hepatocytes, its unique 3D organisation and regenerative activity and the ability to manipulate it (RNAi, CRISPR/Cas). The Group aims to identify the rules of self-organisation underlying liver tissue structure and their implementation at the molecular level. The ultimate goal is to demonstrate that it is possible to re-engineer liver tissue structure predictably. To this end, the Group requires two postdocs to work on the following projects:

  1. High-resolution imaging of the developing, adult and regenerating mouse liver to develop a geometrical model of the mouse liver tissue.
  2. Re-engineering of the liver tissue in vivo.


Key tasks and responsibilities

  • Conduct systematic spatiotemporal analyses of organelle markers in the developing, adult and regenerating mouse liver after partial hepatectomy using advanced microscopy methods (in fixed tissue and by intra-vital microscopy).
  • Develop geometrical models of the liver tissue and identify the underlying molecular pathways responsible for hepatocyte cell polarity and tissue organisation.
  • Perform proteomics and lipidomics analyses of primary cells and liver tissue to produce a complete dataset of candidate regulators of hepatocyte polarity.
  • Test the role of candidate genes in vivo to alter the parameters of the established liver tissue organisation and re-engineer it.
  • RNAi-mediated gene silencing (Zeigerer et al., 2012), lentivirus delivery or genome editing (CRISPR/Cas; Yin et al., 2014) using protocols established in the lab.
  • Generate mutant lines with CRISPR/Cas.
  • Perform functional characterisation and phenotypic analyses and introduce genetic or pharmacological perturbations to re-engineer the structure and function of the liver tissue.
  • Generate reliable data for publication and record all data and results in specified forms (paper and electronic).
  • Contribute to the writing of project-related scientific papers.
  • Assist in the training of PhD students and contribute to the smooth running of the lab.

Job requirements

The candidate should be able to interact with members of an interdisciplinary team of cell biologists, biochemists, computer scientists and clinicians, work in a competitive international environment and possess excellent communication and data presentation skills.


Mandatory requirements:

On the closing date for online applications, the candidate must fulfil all the following conditions:

  • A Ph.D. in cell and/or developmental biology.
  • Previous experience in imaging (including advanced microscopy techniques and image analysis).
  • Experience in advanced cell culture techniques (including isolation of primary cells).
  • Experience in advanced gene editing, silencing and overexpression techniques.
  • At least one first-author publication in a scholarly journal in a field relevant to this application.
  • Fluency in English.

Preferred requirements:

  • A background in membrane biology, endocytosis and cell trafficking would be advantageous.
  • Experience in proteomics would be beneficial.

Organizational and social skills:

  • Ability to work independently as well as in a team.
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • Ability to manage competing priorities in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to build trust by operating transparently and creating an open and positive environment.
  • Excellent communication skills and self-motivation.

Application Instructions

  • Please apply by sending:
    i) a CV
    ii) a motivation letter in English
    iii) names and contacts of at least 2 referees

Questions concerning the role and any queries regarding the terms and conditions should be sent to (terms and conditions) (these email address should not be used to send applications).


Why Human Technopole

  • HT seeks scientific excellence. We recruit the best scientific talents through international open calls.
  • Our working environment is international, friendly and inclusive. Our scientists work together across disciplines on research topics of biomedical relevance, leveraging synergies between their diverse skill sets and methodological approaches.
  • We believe that highly diverse teams yield the best and most innovative results.
  • We engage in outward-facing scientific activities for the national and international research community. Training is also at the heart of our activity, with initiatives and opportunities for our staff, including scientific courses, conferences and workshops.

Main benefits

  • Welfare plans.
  • Canteen service.
  • Work-life balance provisions.
  • Italian language training for foreigners.
  • Maternity leave up to 1 year and other support for new parents.
  • Counseling.
  • Flexible working hours.
  • Remote working policy.
  • Support for relocation.

Special consideration will be given to candidates who are part of the protected categories list, according to L. 68/99.
Number of positions offered: 1
Contract offered: CCNL Chimico Farmaceutico, Fixed-term - 4 years - employee level.
The position is based in Milan


Learn more about this company

Visit this company’s hub to learn about their values, culture, and latest jobs.

Visit employer hub

Learn more about this company

Visit this company’s hub to learn about their values, culture, and latest jobs.

Visit employer hub

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalised job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert